My Birthday Present: A Vintage Bicycle
My birthday is something that I don’t often mark with any great fanfare – not like my children’s. This year, just like last year, I really didn’t know what I wanted when asked by my wonderful husband. So you can imagine my surprise when he presented me with a resurrected/upcycled 1950s vintage bicycle! I mean what is not to like about this little beauty?
After research it would appear this little beauty is a 1958 ladies bike. It was originally black but has been painted a stunning blue, cream and orange. In fact the original bike was a heap of rusted junk to say the least, it is what is better known as a farm find – although not sure why they call it this because the weeds and moss claimed it long ago.
It is now a single gear bike which I think makes it look stunning and easy to ride without having to keep changing gears. It also means there is no chance of me getting up big hills (or any hills) with this gear! But then this bike is just for cruising along and taking in the scenery.
Another wonderful feature is the new name of the bike. It’s E.L.F, yes that’s right my initials. I mean who else has a bike named after them? Ok yeah I know Chris Boardman does but he’s famous!
I am taking my time getting used to riding it due to it only having one brake at the front with the main brake being a coaster break. A coaster break is operated by turning the pedals backwards and was actually invited in the 1890s. I’ve never used one before so it will take a bit of practice. I have been out a few times on it, think another few times and I should know how to operate it without having to think about it.
I wanted to point out the wheels on the bike. They were hand made by my husband. This was the first time ever my husband has built wheels, I am so proud of him, they look stunningly beautiful too. He did try and use as much of the original bike but some parts were just too far gone.
Just look at that beautiful seat, it is vintage too but the leather was all torn so my hubby purchased some vinyl and stitched it together to make this lovely cover to match the grips. Who else could claim a hand stitched bike seat?
The handle bars are vintage and were steeped in vinegar to get rid of the rust. The grips are not vintage but they do add a wonderful splash of colour to match the front forks and the seat cover.
I have to say that I adore my birthday present. Taking something that was just a pile of rust and turning it in to a working, functioning bike is something else, the skill and patience that has gone in to this is wonderful and it belongs to me! I feel so proud and special to have a wonderful work of art that is my bicycle.